With all the reasons to stay indoors right now, why not check out the much-talked-about Netflix show Sex Education? Rather than the documentary the title suggests, it’s a fascinating character-driven drama that will have you and your partner(s) talking about sex and relationships for hours. If you’ve already devoured all two seasons of the show, here are some reasons to give it another watch.
Instead of bingeing run-of-the-mill TV with your sweetie, check out a high-quality, frank-talking drama that tackles the topics of sex and relationships in a refreshing and nonjudgemental way. With two seasons of 16 half-hour episodes, you have eight hours of entertainment at your fingertips. The British-made show is provocative and, believe me, you and your loved ones will end up talking about surprising topics like anal douching, teenage erectile dysfunction, and asexuality. What a great way to get to know each other even better!
Provoke Interesting Conversations
Of course, you can zone out and watch both seasons of Sex Education in one day. The show is addictive! But just like good sex, it’s even better if you slow it down and ask questions.
Perhaps you see something new you want to try, or you’re curious to know your partner’s thoughts on moral quandaries like being given an ultimatum by a partner. Would your partner ever give you an ultimatum? What would they do if you did? The discussion that springs from fictional situations like these can save heartache down the line by making sure your personal values match.
Even your spirited discussion about which characters you prefer and why can lead to revealing insights. For example, I love the male character with anger issues (as I often do, heh), but at first, my partner was repulsed by him. Our discussion helped us better understand our differences: perhaps I see the world with more grey than my partner’s more black-and-white thinking. Both are valid perspectives, but these differences are good to be aware of in a relationship.
Challenge Your Expectations
Sex Education will expand and challenge your expectations of what sex can and should be. Maybe you suspect you have vaginismus, a condition that makes vaginal penetration difficult, and are relieved to know this is not unusual and there are many other ways to be intimate. Maybe you suspect you’re not interested in sex or relationships at all, as with some forms of asexuality. Or maybe neither is true for you, but you’ve learned there are a variety of ways to experience physical intimacy and can be more sensitive with future partners, friends, and family when these subjects come up.
Try asking your partner(s) these questions as you watch: What do you think of asexuality? Have you ever tried anal douching? How have common expectations about sex affected you or your relationships? Have you ever smoothed over conflict with someone after being vulnerable with them? How did that feel? Have you ever felt like you were different from your friends when it comes to sex or sexuality?
The Importance of Open Communication
We all know how critical open and honest communication is for healthy relationships. Equally important is open and honest communication with ourselves. Do we know what we really want, rather than what we think others want from us? How can we share this with others in a respectful way?
Sex Education is blunt in this respect. “If you’re not ready to talk about douching with your boyfriend,” a character says at one point, “you’re definitely not ready to have his c*ck in your arse.”
This is an excellent philosophy for life. As this insightful review at Quartz.com says, “Sex Education makes the case that developing strong romantic relationships can also help us become better people.” I love this point of view, which must explain why I love Sex Education so much. It combines the frank information of a documentary with an engaging storyline and relatable characters, and its underlying message of radical vulnerability–if taken to heart–could transform and heal our sex lives and romantic relationships.
A Note on Social Distancing
In a long-distance relationship or practicing social distancing? If your partner or partner(s) aren’t able to visit right now, you can always watch a show simultaneously online. Try Facebook’s “watch together” function, the Chrome extension “Netflix Party,” or check out Kast’s premium service for $5 a month.
Watching the Netflix show Sex Education with your partner or partners is a good way to spend quality time together. The show can provoke interesting conversations that will help you learn more about your partner(s) and their values, expand your ideas of what sex and relationships can be, and underline the importance of open communication in healthy relationships. If your relationship is long-distance, there are many ways to watch together online.
Have you watched Sex Education yet? Let us know in the comments!